So I have been doing on and off volunteering for a couple of years or is that 2 decades now?? I know it started when I was in school and annually we would visit either an orphanage or an old age home. Religion too contributed significantly – at one point we were visiting a Hostel for girls every 2 weeks to teach and just talk to the kids. The passion grew and I took up psychology and social work professionally. Somehow, I was always always inclined to volunteering with children and I was able to continue doing the same at work – organizing opportunities for beneficiary related volunteering and events through CSR.
Ever since I got to know of iVolunteer’s Impact Projects – an opportunity for volunteers to share their skills with NGOs, thereby strengthening the functioning of the NGO, I wanted to get involved. Last year, I did one-off tasks for various NGOs. These projects made a lot of sense to me and gave me flexibility in my volunteering life….I could volunteer from home or even while travelling on the bus to get back home by editing documents or making calls on behalf of the NGO. Given the fact that I had a two year old and travelled two hours a day, it made a lot of sense and I felt good that I was able to make a teeny tiny contribution to the NGO sector.
This year, I felt I needed to get more involved and when I read the annual report of the NGO Kili Kili, which works on inclusive play spaces in public parks, it thrilled me and I knew I just had to write and connect with them. I quickly met Kavitha Krishnamurthy, who is part of Kili Kili and Sampoorna Music Therapy centre (which is a hop, skip and jump away from home) and have been volunteering for them for three months now – I try to make it once in two weeks or whenever there is a requirement. So far, have helped them with a back log of reports – since they migrated to a new website, I was able to do some backend help. I have also helped create and maintain a mailing list of volunteers, and support the NGO with timely emails and reminders when there is a requirement/programme.Eventually, I hope to be a rapporteur for a monthly event they organize and partly help with their social media. I will continue to volunteer with them and more such organizations in whatever area they feel I can add value. It also helps me practice what I preach on the ethics of volunteering 🙂
Though these are small and probably insignificant tasks compared to what the NGO does in totality, it feels good to help out – I have a strong belief it helps the organization take its mind off these small tasks and move ahead… so that they can worry about the bigger things that are required to be put into place…and it gives them space to do what they do best…Serve!